People forced to leave their homes and workplaces due to flooding or other natural disasters often have only a short period of time to pack up their belongings, so organizations are suggesting creating and following checklists to prepare homes and businesses to allow for a quick getaway and fast recovery after flooding.
The Restoration Industry Association (RIA, formerly ASCR) suggests that individuals keep these items in an emergency kit or gather them during an evacuation:
- Health and homeowners insurance policies, wills and passports.
- Family photos and irreplaceable mementos, irreplaceable jewelry, disposable camera, digital camera and video camera.
- Digital inventory CD of house and printout of contents.
- Paper and pen, address book, emergency phone numbers (family, hospital and physicians).
- Wallet, checkbook, credit cards and cash.
- Canned goods, can opener, peanut butter, protein bars, bouillon cubes, M.R.E.s and baby food.
- Bottled water (1/2 gallon per person) and water purification tablets.
- Sharp knife, duct tape, electrical tape, small shovel, rope, work gloves, fix-a-flat for tires, tarps, dust masks, small toolbox and an all-purpose tool.
- Waterproof matches, butane lighter and a small fire extinguisher.
- A transistor radio and batteries.
- Candles and flashlights.
- Pet food and supplies.
- Toiletries such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, feminine products, diapers, baby wipes, paper towels and trash bags.
- A first aid kit, hydrogen peroxide, antibiotic ointment, vitamins, general remedies (cold, flu, allergies, chap stick, antacids), glasses and any prescription medications.
- Clothing such as long pants, shirts, gym clothes for sleeping, rain poncho, walking/working shoes, extra underwear and socks and jackets or sweaters.
- Sleeping bags, cots, air mattresses and folding chairs.
- A laptop computer, cell phone, chargers and car chargers, as well as extra batteries for all small equipment such as radios and flashlights.
- Maps and games for children and adults.
“While this list of is not all-inclusive, it provides a good starting point under very difficult circumstances,” said RIA President Rusty Amarante, CR. “RIA members know from experience how important it is to be prepared for the unexpected.”
If Evacuation is Necessary
Should your community or business need to evacuate for any reason, State Farm offers some suggestions on what to do before a storm hits:
- Know your evacuation routes and follow them carefully.
- Board up windows, cover them with protective shutters or tape them for reinforcement.
- Turn off water, electricity and gas prior to leaving your home or business if an evacuation order is issued.
- Make sure cars and trucks used for evacuations have a full tank of gas.
- If you plan to leave vehicles behind, make sure it is protected in your garage or left on high ground.
- Move all garbage cans, awnings and other large outside objects inside or anchor them securely.
- Avoid high water – it can damage your engine and stall your car.